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Phantoms 5, Hershey 3: ?It?s a character win?

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  • Phantoms 5, Hershey 3: ?It?s a character win?

    Well, who was that team and what did they do with the Phantoms? If you didn’t know which team came into the game 26-3 since Nov. 28, you’d have thought it was the Phantoms.

    It’s only one night, but the Phantoms thoroughly outplayed a team in the middle of putting together an all-time great AHL season. *They outshot the best offensive team in the league 42-18. They didn’t fold when they were down 2-0 or 3-2. They played the 60 minutes we’ve been waiting for all season. This was easily the best win of the year.

    Now we know they have that in them, as an old teacher of mine liked to say, “excuse time has expired.” Joey Mormina said the same thing, in the continuation of the above quote. “There’s no excuse not to bring the same effort tomorrow.” Let me add: and the next, and the next.

    And what an atmosphere. These people have been dying for something to cheer about all season and when they finally got it, the 4,407 at the Civic Center did their part. They made it a tough place to play as things got heated in the second and the roar for Mormina’s game-winner was the loudest this place has been all year.

    Hershey has lost 13 times this season, counting shootouts, and three of those have been to the Phantoms. The Phantoms are the only team with a winning record this season against their old rivals.

    Much, much more in the game story.

    DID YOU NOTICE?

    – (and I’m sure you did) Matt Clackson, Ryan Dingle and Garrett Klotz start a game for the first time all season?

    – Stefan Legein just duck a hit in the third that would have killed him?

    – Jon Kalinski absolutely destroy Patrick McNeil on Jason Ward’s goal? That created the 2-on-1. McNeil left with an apparent shoulder injury and didn’t return.

    – Mormina bark at the Hershey bench after scoring his goal?

    – Hershey captain and veteran Bryan Helmer lose his cool and punch Legein in the face? Legein kept his composure and earned the Phantoms a power play.

    – Denis Bodrov go off shakily and not return? No word on his condition after the game.

    – That David Laliberte had three points?

    QUOTES

    Joey Mormina:

    On the goaltender interference called on David Laliberte and not on Hershey when he was pushed into Johan Backlund:

    “It’s unfortunate when the ref makes the call at one end and then misses one that leads to another goal. You expect some quality refereeing and maybe he just missed it. It happens. It could have been a big moment of the game.”

    On Joonas Lehtivuori’s goal that made it 2-1. (Mormina started the rush):

    That’s a goal scorer’s shot right there. That was a no doubt about that one, top corner.”

    On trailing 2-0n after the first, but playing well:

    “I thought we actually carried the play in the first period, they just capitalized on their chances. We knew going in that if we didn’t have our best effort they could put up a lot of goals in a hurry. it’s a character win and there’s no excuse not to bring the same effort tomorrow.”

    Greg Gilbert

    On starting the checking line:

    “I think they did a pretty good job setting the tempo early. They got pucks in deep and got on the D right away and that’s what we want to do. It was a good opportunity to get those guys out there and get pucks in and start getting physical right from the start. That’s how we want to play.”

    On carrying the momentum through the weekend:

    “We’re going to have to. We’ve got to take the success we had tonight and build on it. We can’t take a deep breath and think we’re alright. We’re battling for every point and a position in the playoffs.”

    LINEUP

    Scratches: Marc-Andre Bourdon (lower-body, hope to have him back by Sunday), David Sloane (healthy), Krys Kolanos (injury), Josh Beaulieu (healthy, but has missed practice time due to family emergency).

    Lines: Maroon/Matsumoto/Laliberte; Pyorala/Ross/Legein; Nodl/Kalinski/Ward; Klotz/Dingle/Clackson.

    Defensive pairings: Mormina/Lehtivuori; Marshall/Stephenson; Bodrov/Curry.

    – Tim





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